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If you focus on ONE thing with your coaching clients make it MEANING

15 February 2019 Anthony Eldridge-Rogers

I recently gave a keynote talk to the East of England Local Government Association in Cambridge.

I enjoy giving talks and connecting a great crowd, and this was no exception. The talk was a slightly new one in that it focussed on how we can think about quantum physics in relation to coaching. But this blog is not about physics so no worries!

But what again jumped out at me is just how important, indeed life affirming and giving the whole topic of Meaning is for people. In fact, I have never met anyone who does not want to feel that their lives have meaning in them. And we all know this right?

I ask an audience if anyone there does NOT want their life to be meaningful. I ask if having a life that means nothing to them or those around them is what they aspire to. And of course, no one wants that.

So if this is a universal thing that everyone identifies with and that we all yearn to live meaningful lives, why is it not right at the heart of all coaching practice? Meaning is also a coaches best ally. Here is why:

1. People (your clients) need energy

They need to be able to tap into and express their inner life force, energy to get into action and live their lives. That energy comes from inside and is related to their health, their thoughts and their feelings. The feeling and emotions are crucial. How we struggle when we feel angry, depressed, guilty, ashamed. How everything seems easier when we are joyful, excited, engaged, in love.

The energy for change and success comes from being attached most of the time to those positive feelings. Those feelings are found in almost unlimited amounts in meaning and purpose. Want energy? Connect to meaning and stay there.

2. Once people have energy and purpose then coaching becomes much easier

People who are stuck and blocked are a constant challenge to coaches and also a constant trap. We get caught up in trying to unstick them which is almost impossible and not the role or function of coaching. The best outcome is that people get unstuck themselves and we are with them facilitating that to happen. Meaning then is an unsticking focus. People, when they bring the reality of meaning into their lives, start to naturally unstick themselves. This also reveals to them where they keep themselves stuck and trapped. What those negative thought processes and habits are. That is a real win because information is power, in this case, power to unstick ourselves.

3. Who wants to complete a goal that does not have any real meaning in it?

But how many times do we end up with clients who fail to follow through with their goals? Most times it is because they don’t want to enough. And that ‘wanting to’ comes from meaning. The goal and meaning are not joined up enough. Trust me when a person is really lined up to meaning and purpose getting stuff done (fulfilling goals) is not an issue. It is, in fact, a little the other way. We need to help people try not to do too much too quickly! It is a great challenge to have as a coach. 

So there you have it. Whatever kind of coach you are, the person over the table, across the room or on the end of the phone, no matter who or where they are, wants to have a meaningful life full of challenges, joys, successes, learning, community and the feeling that their life and the contribution they make matters to those they love.

If you are the coach to work with them to bring that about, then you will be the coach they thank. That will make you feel great and make your business a success.

Go for it!